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The Fate of Mutation

Shift , Spread, and Disjunction in a Conceptual Trajectory

Jörg Thomas Richter

Hugo de Vries’s Mutation Theory (1901–1903) fell on fertile ground in the evolutionary sciences around the year 1900. Aside from the impact it had on biology, the concept of mutation also spread into a variety of non-biological discourses, including philosophy, sociology, historiography, and philology. The article follows the trajectory of de Vries’s concept through the discursive landscapes of the early 1900s and the 1960s. From its inception in the 1900s, the cultural imagination of mutation marks a field of conceptual crossing over rather than a mere takeover from biology.

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Combining Intellectual History and the History of the Book

A Case Study on the Concept of Folk in Popular Literature in the Nineteenth Century

Lone Kølle Martinsen

In this article I discuss how intellectual history can be fused with the history of the book. I base this on a case study of the concept of folk (the people) in a Scandinavian, but mainly Danish context in the popular literature written between 1822 and 1836 by the Danish author B.S. Ingemann. The main argument of the article is that in studying the history of political concepts we should include not only sources of politics and philosophy (canonical works) but broadly read work (including fiction) as sources, too, along with observations about the spread and circulation of these texts.

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Reinhart Koselleck

His Concept of the Concept and Neo-Kantianism

Elías José Palti

The present article intends to trace the conceptual roots of Koselleck’s concept of the concept. Koselleck’s distinction between ideas and concepts has its roots in the logic of Hegel, who was the first to elaborate on the multivocal nature of concepts as their distinguishing feature vis-à-vis ideas. The main hypothesis proposed here is that Koselleck reformulated Hegel’s view on the basis of the neo-Kantian philosophies developed at the turn of the century, with which his theory maintains a tense relationship, without breaking, however, some of its fundamental premises.

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Imagining Utopia in an Unfree World

Rick Turner on Morality, Inequality and Existentialism

Mary Ryan

Years before South African philosopher Richard (Rick) Turner’s most famous work, his novel The Eye of the Needle (hereafter Eye ), he wrote an important account for sociopolitical thought in the essay ‘What Is Political Philosophy

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Civis, civitas, civilitas

Translations in Modern Italian and Conceptual Change

Sandro Chignola

By focusing on the Italian translations of civilization, the author explores ways in which conceptual change has reflected historical developments in Italy. Unlike the widespread literal translation of civilization from English or French to other languages, civilizzazione has been a marginal term in Italian. On the other hand, terms such as civiltà, more akin to the Latin civitas, are more frequently employed. e article maps out the complex semantics of civitas and how its trajectory in the philosophy of history was uniquely translated into Italian. Whereas in other European nations civilization and the notion of historical progress it conveyed became a central concept, in Italy, due to the elaboration of an identity heavily influenced by Christian heritage, the more static concept of civiltà proved to be more significant.

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Rethinking the Human and the Social

Towards a Multiverse of Transformations

Ananta Kumar Giri

Our understanding of the human and the social, as well as our realization of these, are in need of fundamental transformations, as our present day use of these are deeply anthropocentric, Eurocentric and dualistic. Human development discourse looks at the human in an adjectival way, so does the social quality approach to the category of the social: neither reflects the profound rethinking both the categories have gone through even in the Western theoretical imagination (for example, the critique of humanism in philosophy and the critique of socio-centrism in sociology). In this context, the present essay explores the ways these two categories are being rethought in Western theoretical imagination and discusses the non-anthropocentric and post-anthropocentric conceptualization and realization of the human, which resonates with non-socio-centric and post-social conceptions of society. The essay also opens these two categories to cross-cultural and planetary conversations and on the way rethinks subjectivity, sovereignty, temporality and spatiality. It pleads for a foundational rethinking of human security and social quality and for creative intertwining between the two with visions and practices of practical spirituality.

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Rights of Noncitizens

Asylum as an Individual Right in the 1949 West German Grundgesetz

Hanna-Mari Kivistö

Post–World War II developments concerning citizenship and access as one of the dimensions of citizenship are examined through the prism of noncitizenship and rights, using the drafting of the asylum paragraph of the 1949 Grundgesetz of the Federal Republic of Germany as a specific case study. The aim of this article is to look into the creation of the right to asylum in West Germany, to examine its political history by exploring its development and by searching for its conceptual, political, and rhetorical origins. The article investigates the birth of the unique conceptualization of asylum in the debates of the Parliamentary Council, the constitutional and quasi-parliamentary assembly responsible for the writing of the postwar Basic Law, and examines the political choices, motivations, and compromises behind its creation. To connect the matter of asylum to a wider problematic related to noncitizens and rights, the article benefits from the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt, with reference to her writings on human rights and refugees in the immediate post–World War II period.

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Stefan Nygård and Johan Strang

of ideas was that the prominent cultural spaces and linguistic regions in Europe were ill informed about each other, often to an astonishing degree. His greatly admired J.S. Mill was ignorant of Hegelian philosophy and did not consider it worth

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Anton Jansson, Kai Vogelsang, and Nele Kuhlmann

Australian historian Peter Harrison delivered the prestigious Gifford Lectures, a long-standing series of lectures concerning theology, philosophy, and the relation between science and religion with a renowned list of former speakers, including such diverse

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Jaap Westbroek, Harry Nijhuis, and Laurent van der Maesen

make philosophy a kind of universal mathematics, a science in which everything is derived from simple basic concepts through rigorous deduction” (Störig 1959: 4.2). In this way, philosophy and physics merged. Today, the description of reality in